Guide for first-time home buyers

As first-time home buyers, you need to pay attention to many things before taking the keys

When you decide to buy a house, you need to be aware that there will be many big decisions you will need to make. Of course, this is exciting, but if you are not prepared well, it can get scary. In case this happens, the chances are that you will make big mistakes for which you will regret later. However, in order to avoid this scenario, we have written a guide for first-time home buyers. We have pointed out things that you should and should not do. By going through it, you will be ready and you will know what to pay attention to when the need for buying a new house arises.

Apply for a mortgage first

Many first-time home buyers make the same mistake- they go around and check homes for sale before applying for a mortgage. This is wrong for two reasons. First of all, there is a possibility that you will find the house of your dreams but you will not be able to afford it. In addition to this, if you are not preapproved for a mortgage it may seem to the seller that you are not a serious buyer. Therefore, make sure you get a fully underwritten preapproval. This will help the seller realize that you have enough money and you will also know which house you can afford.

If you are first-time homebuyers, make sure you are preapproved for a mortgage
If you are first-time homebuyers, make sure you are preapproved for a mortgage

Do not rush

It is natural that you would like to move in into your new home as soon as possible. However, this can be one of the biggest mistakes, especially if you are first-time home buyers. The whole moving process is quite complex, which means that it is preferable to take more time than you think you will need. First of all, you should have enough time to choose the right neighborhood. For example, if you have children, you will probably need a house with a big yard. Also, you will need to organize the whole move, from choosing a moving company to unpacking your belongings. In case you are not sure about the mover, we can highly recommend you moving companies Raleigh NC.

If you are first-time home buyers take care of your savings

Another mistake you can easily make is to spend all or most of your savings on a down payment. Instead of doing this, it is advisable to stick to your budget. What if something unexpected happens just after you have moved in, like having a dishwasher broken? You will not have enough money to get this fixed. This is precisely why it is advisable to think in advance. Shop somewhat below your preapproval amount and you will be secure if something like this happens. Do not let your emotions take over even if you find a home you love. It is better to be safe than sorry. Plus, you can always make a garage sale and get rid of those extra belongings.

A piggy bank
Two important things you should do are: think in advance and stick to your budget

There will certainly be the so-called hidden costs

If you are first-time home buyers, this part will be of great importance to you. Owning a home is not as simple as it seems. Yes, it is a privilegeĀ and you will feel much secure when you are on your own property, but this is not all. You will now be in a position to pay more taxes and insurances as a homeowner. Those can be, for example, mortgage insurance, property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance etc. According to a recent survey, an average homeowner pays $2,000 a year on maintenance services. This means that, if you do not have enough money in your budget, you will not be prepared when the time comes to pay for the essentials.

Do not pass up the chance to negotiate

In case this is the first time that you are buying a house, you should learn more about commission rebates. They are also known as home buyer rebates. Namely, this is a rebate of up to 1% of the home sale’s price. It comes out of the buyer agent’s commission and you should check is your agent is willing to provide this rebate at closing. For example, if you are buying a house that is worth $300,000, the rebate would be $3,000. It is surely worth asking- this would be an addition to your savings. However, you should know that homebuyer rebates are not available in all U.S. states. Only ten of them prohibit this rebate, but if you are moving to Wilmington NC, there will be no need to worry- North Carolina does allow it.

Open houses are actually great

This is the best way to see the condition of your potential house. During the visit, you should pay close attention to the overall condition of the house. The most important things to focus on are whether there are any strange smells, stains or items in disrepair. In addition to this, you should also ask some important questions about it. For example, you should ask when the house was built, what items were last replaced and when or how old the heating and the air conditioning systems. Also, if you are really interested in that house and there other potential buyers at the same time, schedule a second visit. During that time, you will be able to get a closer look and to ask questions privately. In case you need to renovate some parts, do not worry- you can find cheap ways to do it.

A sign 'Open house'
An open house is a perfect time to check the overall condition of your potential home

In case you are first-time home buyers, there are several things you should know. We have done our best to help you go through the whole process stress-free. Of course, the only way to make this happen is to prepare yourself on time and to know what you should do. There are many big decisions you need to make, so it is preferable to make as little mistakes as possible. Therefore, inform yourself on time and you can be sure that everything will run smoothly.

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